With the holiday season approaching, people begin to think about their life and what they are grateful for. Spending time with family, friends and other loved ones helps us realize how lucky many of us are.
The holiday season is also a time for people to give back to the less fortunate in the community. Food, clothing and toy drives begin to pop up across town. Look out for these donation drives in the coming weeks, usually hosted by the town and village governments, local police and fire departments, and charitable groups.
Besides the classic holiday donation drives, many local food and clothing pantries across town are open year-round for people to donate non-perishable food items and old clothing too.
One popular and local food pantry is at Our Lady of Fatima’s OutReach office, located at 10 Cottonwood Rd., Port Washington. They accept donations at church mass and the OutReach office, Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m.-Noon and 1-5 p.m. Our Lady of Fatima’s Outreach office currently services about 135 families in the Port Washington and Manhasset area.
The pantry is in partnership with Our Harvest and receives meats, poultry and dairy product based on a percentage of sales in the local area. By purchasing through Our Harvest, you help stock Our Lady of Fatima’s pantry.
The Outreach office works with Plant a Row for the Hungry, The Dodge House, Grassroots and various other Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups to provide fresh produce in the Spring, Summer and Fall months.
When fresh produce is scarce in the winter, Our Lady of Fatima could use some extra donations. The Outreach office shared that due to storage issues, they aren’t making up the usual holiday baskets for their families; instead, they are giving out gift cards. The office is accepting the donation of gift cards to food stores such as Stop & Shop or prepaid AMEX cards for the office to give out to families in need.
The food pantry accepts monetary donations to help stock their pantry in addition to taking non-perishable food items. The standard items that the pantry distributes and is in constant need of are: oil, cereal, pasta sauce, peanut butter, jelly, mac & cheese, rice, pasta, oatmeal, canned tomatoes, canned and dry beans, canned tuna, salmon, and chicken, canned corn, string beans, peas, and beets, canned soup, canned fruits, mayonnaise and ketchup.
Visit olfpw.org for more information.
With the changing seasons, people are going through their closets to make room for sweaters and winter coats. When cleaning out your dressers and closets, a large pile of clothes you haven’t worn all year will grow on the floor. We often put those clothes in garbage bags and drop them into the nearest clothing drop bin in a local shopping center. While donating clothes to those bins is excellent, dropping them at a local donation site can help your surrounding community.
Twin Pines Thrift Shop in Port Washington is a non-profit founded in 1972 with a mission to reduce, reuse and recycle. Twin Pines is located at 382 Main St. on the corner of Prospect Avenue and Main Street.
They accept donations on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until their storage has reached maximum capacity. Five bags or boxes are accepted per family per week. They ask that soft goods, such as clothing and tablecloths, be packed separately from hard goods, such as dishes.
Aside from material donations, Twin Pines stocks a food pantry for those in need and always accepts dry and canned goods. Twin Pines shared that while material donations are only accepted on Saturdays, non-perishable food items are accepted any day of the week. Donations of medical supplies are also accepted at Twin Pines, supplies such as canes and walkers.
Twin Pines shares that their most popular items are women’s clothes and kitchenware. Kitchenware includes plates, utensils and small kitchen appliances. Women’s clothing is Twin Pines’ most sold merchandise and it’s most given away inventory. Twin Pines works with a domestic violence safe house, allowing women from their center to come and get free clothing. Right now, fall and winter clothing is among the most needed items at Twin Pines.
In addition to women’s clothing, Twin Pines accepts shoes, children’s and men’s clothing, and maternity clothing. They also take books, board games, athletic equipment, handbags and jewelry.
Some items are not accepted at Twin Pines due to sanitary concerns and storage issues. Items not accepted include stuffed animals, toys, incomplete games, incomplete glass/plate sets, linens/towels, baby clothes (Newborn to 3T), pet food, cassettes/CDs/VHS tapes, bath mats, towels, sheets, cribs, car seats, helmets, nursing materials, large furniture, computers/printers and any broken/damaged items.
Visit pwtwinpines.com for more information.
A newer program in Port Washington was started by the Port Washington Community Chest during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late March 2020, hundreds of volunteers, donors, elected officials, community organizations and businesses worked to help their neighbors. Together they launched the COVID-19 Community Response Fund and established the COVID-19 Community Response Working group to address an evolving list of needs spawned by the pandemic.
According to a press release from the Community Chest, Port Washington volunteers helped out by delivering food and supplies to food pantries and highly vulnerable seniors, making over 2,000 cloth masks and setting up vaccination appointments. The COVID-19 Relief Fund provided over $318,000 to help Port residents who were suddenly unemployed to attain food and other essentials. Over 400 families and 1,400 individuals in Port Washington were helped.
The Community Chest shared that “The Nicholas Center Navigators (young adults on the autism spectrum), who had been instrumental in delivering these items during the pandemic, will launch a new program called Port Provides, Powered by The Nicholas Center to gather, assemble and deliver these supplies to pantries in Port.”
A Go-Fund-Me account has been established to support this important community program. Donations may be made via: Port Provides, Powered by The Nicholas Center at GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/port-provides-powered-by-the-nicholas-center or by calling: 516-767-7177, ext. 420.